There was a time when it felt like new patterns were being released nearly every week. Between Japanese sewing books and indie patterns, I often felt like the options alone made my head spin. There were so many great patterns to choose from! As much as I enjoyed (and still enjoy) sewing new patterns, there is something so comforting and familiar about those patterns that are tried-and-true.
The Eleena dress is one of those patterns for me. This pattern was designer by my dear friend, Olga, of Coffee and Thread. Olga is not only an incredible pattern designer and a talented photographer, but also an amazing woman and a thoughtful friend.
I had already made her Eleena dress pattern twice - a plaid dress here for Iris and a color-blocked spring version here for Tia. I was so happy with both of those dresses. So, when I saw this Kaufman Tahoe flannel, I immediately knew it was time to make another Eleena dress!
Olga has a gift for designing patterns with beautiful lines and/or curves (for example, the Antalya dress here or the Ila here). I love the A-line shape of the Eleena dress. I also love that the center panel can be hidden when standing still, but is revealed with movement. It's a little surprising, adds visual interest and gives the dress so much swing.
Because the flannel I was using was rather thick, initially the center panel kept folding out instead of in. Of course, this was not the look I was going for. :) So I understitched the seam allowance along the center panel (to the center panel) and then pressed it well with a hot iron. After that, it folded in beautifully - and stayed that way.
Also, after understitching the neckline, Olga talked me through how to grade the neckline seam. Because I added piping and because the center pleat adds bulk, that seam was especially thick.
She then suggested I add a couple of hand stitches to tack the center panel to the lining underneath the center pleat, to keep the lining from peeking out. That worked perfectly.
I realized when cutting the sleeves of this dress that it was impossible to cut them mirror-image given the way the plaid was printed. So I cut them on the straight-grain which was the only way to replicate the look of them being mirror image, even though they technically were not.
After three projects in a row involving stripes, two of which were printed off-grain, I am so ready for a break from sewing stripes. So I have a Nani Iro palate cleanser in the works next! :D